Washington physicians record summer spike of gun violence victims

Healthcare professionals working in the Puget Sound area hospitals revealed a surge of gun violence victims being treated inside emergency rooms.

At Harborview Medical Center in July alone, 55 people sought care for wounds stemming from firearms. 

One of the latest shootings happened in Renton on Sunday around 9 p.m. Detectives working for the Renton Police Department continued to piece together exactly what occurred that led one driver to open fire against another. 

The rolling crime scene ended when one driver crashed their dark-colored Chevy Traverse near 3rd Street and Sunset Boulevard SW.  

Investigators told Q13 News the victim in this case had been driving with two passengers in her vehicle. After leaving a fast-food restaurant nearby, they suddenly became the target of a gunman. Their vehicle left the roadway near Walgreens and the driver was rushed to Harborview with a gunshot wound to her head. Another passenger was rushed to the hospital, though an initial police news release said her injuries were unrelated to the evening’s crash. 

According to all of the car’s occupants, nobody knew who would open fire at them or place them in danger, Renton police officials told Q13 News.

The vehicle drove through foliage and bushes before coming to a stop but missed colliding with a busy King County Metro Bus station. 

"It’s pretty crazy," said Jeffrey Ware who did not learn about the shooting until Monday.

Earlier on Saturday in Federal Way, one driver in his 20’s was found shot and killed after some kind of altercation ended with a crash. Police in both Federal Way and in Renton have not released any information describing the shooter in either incident.           

Health care professionals across the Puget Sound area say they have seen a surge in gun violence, noting doctors have treated 55 people for firearm injuries at Harborview in July alone.  

"It's not just Seattle and King County," said UW Medicine’s Dr. Fred Rivara. "Every major city across the country is seeing an increase in gun violence." 

Neighbors waiting for the bus in Renton on Monday said more innocent people could have been injured had their luck changed by mere inches.  

"Inches away," said Ware. "Somebody could have been hit by the car last night."

The woman shot in Renton had been upgraded to stable condition by Monday, according to police. 

Investigators are now asking all nearby homeowners to check their surveillance cameras, to see if images of the dark colored Chevrolet could also help them narrow down a suspect. 

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